Japan’s Masazo Nonaka was on Tuesday (10) earned the distinction of being the world’s oldest man. Nonaka is 112 years old.
The Guinness World Records presented him with a certificate in a ceremony held at his home in Ashoro, in Japan’s northern main island of Hokkaido. The supercentenarian lives with his family, which manages a hot springs inn, and celebrated the event on Tuesday by digging into a big cake. Nonako is fond of sweets, especially cakes.
“He needs a wheelchair to move but he is in good condition,” Yuko Nonaka, his granddaughter, told AFP. “He loves eating any kinds of sweets — Japanese or western style.”
“He reads newspapers everyday and often soaks in the hot springs,” she added.
Nonako has seven brothers and one sister, and he has fathered five children since getting married to Hatsuno in 1931.
Nonaka might be the oldest man alive, but he not the oldest living person. That distinction goes to a 117-year-old Japanese woman named Nabi Tajima.
Interestingly, people in Japan continue to outlive those in other countries. The average life expectancy of people in Japan is 83.7 years, according to a 2017 World Health Organization report.
A number of factors, including genetic makeup, social and lifestyle issues, are responsible for Japan’s longevity.
In 2016, researchers at the National Centre for Global Health and Medicine in Tokyo investigated the reasons for Japan’s longevity and came to the conclusion that the nation’s healthy diet was a key factor.
The researchers said: “Our findings suggest that balanced consumption of energy, grains, vegetables, fruits, meat, fish, eggs, soy products, dairy products, confectionaries, and alcoholic beverages can contribute to longevity by decreasing the risk of death, predominantly from cardiovascular disease, in the Japanese population.”
James DiNicolantonio, a cardiovascular research scientist at St. Luke’s Mid America Heart Institute who was not involved in the study, told the Huffington Post: “We can learn a lot about how to be healthy from the Japanese, and it really comes down to ‘eat real food’ and ‘exercise.”